30 Jul 10. The Czech Republic is prepared to host a missile warning center funded by the United States and incorporated into a NATO missile defense system, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said Friday.
“There is a plan to grant two million dollars in 2011-12 for the creation of a central shared early warning system, in the budget debate in the two houses of (U.S.) Congress,” he said during a press briefing in Prague. Necas said at issue was a “technical-administrative” center aimed at “detecting the launch of missiles against the territory of the Atlantic alliance.” (Source: Defense News)
28 July 10. Officials at the Lockheed Martin facility here formally announced the start of F-35 Lightning II center wing production operations at the plant during a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday. Actual center wing assembly work for the multi-role 5th generation aircraft will begin July 30 in the Marietta site’s massive B-1 aircraft production building. The F-35 work area will occupy more than 320,000 square feet, and the assembly activity is projected to employ more than 600 workers by 2016 as the program ramps up to full-rate production of one aircraft per workday. Establishing the program’s center wing assembly operation in Marietta helps alleviate capacity constraints at the Fort Worth location while taking advantage of available manufacturing capacity and 5th generation aircraft production expertise the Marietta site offers.
29 Jul 10. The secretary and chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force announced today the transition of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to the F-16 training mission. The Air Force determined that Holloman has the capacity to accept two F-16 training squadrons and offers ability to synergize training activities with MQ-1/9 training occurring on the same base. Transitioning Holloman to F-16 training stabilizes an enduring training mission and capitalizes on the existing airspace and range complex. Implementation of this action is subject to completion of appropriate environmental analysis.
29 Jul 10. The Department of the Air Force announced today Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12W. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley previously approved six candidate bases. They included Altus Air Force Base, Okla.; Beale Air Force Base, Calif.; Key Field Air National Guard Base, Miss.; Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; and Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. Site survey teams evaluated all candidate bases for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability. As a result of these surveys, the range of reasonable alternatives was reduced to three bases: Beale, Robins, and Whiteman.
“Beale Air Force Base is the preferred alternative for basing the MC-12W aircraft given its access to training opportunities, synergy with existing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance flying missions, and collocation with the distributed ground station mission” said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations.
A preferred alternative is an alternative which the Air Force believes best fulfills its mission and responsibilities, taking into consideration environmental, operational, technical and other factors. This is not a final basing decision. The preferred alternative with other reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated in the environmental impact analysis process. The MC-12W is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly to ground forces.
29 Jul 10. The Department of the Air Force announced today the preferred alternatives for operational and training F-35 Joint Strike Fighter bases. Teams surveyed each candidate base for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability timelines. The preferred alte